Ceremony Ideas

Remember This . . . As you think through the elements of your ceremony, be creative and let it reflect who you are. People often ask me, "What is the right way?" My response is that the right way is whatever you would like. So give it some thought and don't be afraid to try something new.

Ceremony Outline: (Optional)

  • Prelude Ushers and Greeters

  • Mother escorted in by (groom, family member, or usher)

  • Bridesmaids and Groomsmen enter or Groomsmen may be up front

  • Flower Girl and Ring Bearer

  • Giving of the Bride

  • Introductory remarks and Welcome

  • Prayer

  • Message on the meaning of marriage

  • Preliminary vows, "I do" Questions (Repeat after me)

  • Vows (Repeat after me or Read your own to each other)

  • Exchange of Rings (Repeat after me)

  • Prayer

  • Pronouncement

  • THE KISS

  • Introduction of the Couple

  • Recessional

  • Pictures

  • Reception

Please feel free to add, change, or delete the order. If you have some ideas you as a couple would like to incorporate let's make that happen. This program outline is primarily for you to get a sample of what you may want in your program.

Additional Ideas

  • Readings, a Song, Flowers to Parents, Unity Candle (outside this may be difficult due to weather), Drinking from a common wine glass, Handfasting (Hand Ceremony)

  • Think if you want the bridesmaids to walk down the aisle with the Groomsmen or will the Groomsmen be up front with the Groom.

  • Most ceremonies last about 20 to 25 minutes, depending on how many elements are added.

Sample Vows:

1.“I______ take you_________

To be my (wife/husband) from this time onward. To join with you and to share with you.

All that is to come to give and to receive. To speak and to listen.

To inspire and to respond in all our life. To be faithful to you and to cherish you.

With my whole being as long as we both shall live."

2. I ______ take you, _______to be my husband/wife my partner in life and my one true love.

I will cherish our friendship and love you today, tomorrow, and forever.

I will trust you and honor you. I will love you faithfully.

Through the best and the worst, what may come, I will always be there.

As I have given you my hand to hold, so I give you my life to keep.

So help me God.

3. I,_____________take you to be my husband/wife to have and to hold

for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, and in sickness or health,

to love and to cherish, from this day forward, until death do us part.

Readings:

The Union, By ROBERT FIGHUM
You have known each other from the first glance of acquaintance to this point of commitment. At some point, you decided to marry. From that moment of yes to this moment of yes, indeed, you have been making promises and agreements in an informal way. All those conversations that were held riding in a car or over a meal or during long walks - all those sentences that began with “When we’re married” and continued with “I will and you will and we will”- those late night talks that
included “someday” and “somehow” and “maybe”- and all those promises that are unspoken matters of the heart. All these common things, and more, are the real process of a wedding. The symbolic vows that you are about to make are a way of saying to one another, “ You know all those things we’ve promised and hoped and dreamed- well, I meant it all, every word.” Look at one another and remember this moment in time. Before this moment you have been many things to one another- acquaintance, friend, companion, lover, dancing partner, and even teacher, for you have learned much from one another in these last few years. Now you shall say a few words that take you across a threshold of life, and things will never quite be the same between you. For after these vows, you shall say to the world, this- is my husband, this- is my wife.

Apache Wedding Blessing:

Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other. Now there will be no loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other. Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you. May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years, may happiness be your companion and your days together be good and long upon the earth.Treat yourselves and each other with respect, and remind yourselves often of what brought you together. Give the highest priority to the tenderness, gentleness and kindness that your connection deserves. When frustration, difficult and fear assail your relationship – as they threaten all relationships at one time or another – remember to focus on what is right between you, not only the part which seems wrong. In this way, you can ride out the storms when clouds hide the face of the sun in your lives – remembering that even if you lose sight of it for a moment, the sun is still there. And if each of you takes responsibility for the quality of your life together, it will be marked by abundance and delight.

Hand Ceremony:

These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and full of love for you, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as you promise to love each other today, tomorrow and forever. These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.

These are the hand that will passionately love you and cherish you through the years, and with the slightest touch, will comfort you like no other. These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief fills your mind. These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes; tears of sorrow, and tears of joy. These are the hands that will tenderly hold your children. These are the hands that will help you to hold your family as one. These are the hands that will give you strength when you need it. And lastly, these are the hands even when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch.

Handfasting: This is an ancient Celtic tradition. The officiant shares a reading while wrapping a cord over the couple’s hands and looping it in a “knot”.

“You are Blood of my Blood, and Bone of my Bone.
I give you my body, that we Two might be One.
I give you my Spirit, till our life shall be Done.

Wine Ceremony: Partners share drinks from a single glass of wine. This symbolizes drinking from the cup of life and sharing all of its experiences together, both bitter and sweet.

Sand Ceremony: During this ceremony the couple each has an individual container of sand. They join together to pour into one larger container. It is symbolic of the fact that just as the grains of sand could never again be separated, so will the union be, forever entwined and forever inseparable.

Biblical Wedding Ceremony Readings:

1 Corinthians 13
Matthew 19:4-6
Ecclesiastes: 4:9-12
Genesis 2:24-25
Mark 10:6-9
1 John 4:10